Mainz v Fortuna – Coface Arena at 14:30 GMT+1
Mainz’s encouraging campaign has fallen off a cliff since late January, and whilst the 05ers are clear from major relegation concerns, supporters have been left frustrated by their side’s apparent downing of tools.
Sandro Schwarz’s are 12 points clear of the bottom three following a fair W7-D6-L6 return from their opening 19 outings. However, Mainz have since W2-D0-L8 – a run that’s seen Saturday’s hosts concede 25 goals – to tumble down from a lofty top-half position into mid-table obscurity.
In fairness, the Karnevalsverein put on an excellent effort against title-chasing Dortmund last weekend. Schwarz’s men may have suffered a 2-1 defeat but Mainz actually won the Expected Goals (xG) count on the day, generating 2.35 xG at Signal Iduna Park, a performance that brought plenty of plaudits if not points.
The display was a welcome relief for fans who were forced to endure a disastrous 5-0 defeat against Freiburg just seven days earlier. The hosts will now hope to return to winning ways having W6-D3-L1 at their Opel Arena base when excluding top-five opponents.
Schwarz coach could be tempted to recall Robin Quaison after the Swede stepped off the bench against Dortmund to score his second goal in three games. Karim Onisiwo would be the likeliest candidate to make way in attack, alongside 10-goal top scorer Jean-Philippe Mateta.
Saturday showdown to produce goals
Four points better off than Mainz in 10th, Fortuna Dusseldorf can already begin their preparations for 2019/20. In spite of their 4-1 loss to defending champions Bayern Munich, Dusseldorf secured a second successive season of Bundesliga football for the first time since 1996, thanks to results elsewhere.
That’s not to say last term’s Bundesliga 2 champions will be on holiday for their remaining five matches of the campaign, with a top-half finish not beyond the realms of possibility. Friedhelm Funkel’s attack-minded outfit will look to enhance their fine recent record of W9-D1-L5 since mid-December.
But rather than attempt to correctly call which club will conquer in this contest, a smarter approach would be to support a goal-heavy game with Over 2.75 Goals trading at 1.85. Fortuna have seen Over 2.5 Goals feature in 21/29 (72%) outings since promotion with 9/29 (31%) encounters also producing at least four goals.
Overall, nine of Mainz’s 14 ties as hosts have produced at least three goals, as have 11 of their last 12 at any Bundesliga venue and 13 of their previous 15 dating back to mid-December.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 1.850
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.